04/1/15
Iran's Nuclear Weapons

Watcher’s Council Nominations – April Fool’s Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The People’s Cube, Seraphic Secret, Maggie’s Notebook and The Independent’s Howard Jacobson earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

03/27/15
Barack Obama - Bowe Bergdahl

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 03/27/15

The Watcher’s Council

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality. – Thomas Sowell

Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing. – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. – GK Chesterson

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This week’s winning essay, Bookworm Room’sWhen it comes to campus fascism, revolutions always eat their own is a tour de force on how radicalism is taking 0ver America’s college campuses. Here’s a slice:

One of the truisms I grew up hearing is that “revolutions always eat their own.” I have understood this to mean that, in any revolutionary movement, the second generation, having been marinated longer in the revolutionary brine, is more extreme than the first generation and invariably purges that first generation. Both the French and the Russian revolutions prove this point.

We in America have had a revolution too. It’s been a very slow-moving revolution of the kind that the British used to call a Fabian Revolution. It involves advancing revolutionary goals, not through violence, but through slow, reformist means. As Ferguson shows, the violence then comes after the revolution. Indeed, Ferguson is one of the best manifestations of that revolution.

The other obvious manifestation is the American college campus. On campuses throughout America, a Nanny state fascism is the norm. That didn’t happen overnight. It happened through Fabian gradualism, with hard-Left revolutionary principles being slowly introduced in the classrooms (increasingly open, aggressive Marxist teaching), in the administrative buildings (read Heather MacDonald’s Multiculti U for the best discussion about the hard Left Fabianism in college administration), and in the dorms (which had a slow Progression away from same-sex dorms, same-sex floors, same-sex bathrooms, and same-sex rooms, which a completely unsurprisingly commensurate uptick in rape claims).

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

Over the last few months, however, something interesting has happened: The Fabian revolution’s Founders are getting disgusted with their progeny’s extremism. It began when Jonathan Chait questioned the stifling effects of the new orthodoxy. In his article challenging the orthodoxy, he still oozed contempt for conservatives having a say in things, but he was definitely perturbed by modern young people’s inability to tolerate any opposing opinions, ideas, or facts. I wonder if Chait was surprised by the subsequent Leftist demand that he be silenced.

The next salvo from old revolutionaries against new happened when Laura Kipnes wrote about the sexual paranoia that is the norm in academia. Kipnes too was excoriated. Michelle Goldberg, writing at the hard-Left Nation, describes the attack on Kipnes and, as part of the same article, also suggests that the revolution has gone too far.

One week later, Judith Shulevitz got an opinion piece published in the New York Times entitled “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas.” She too is shocked to see that sensitivity has morphed into censorship. (Jonah Goldberg, author of the informative and prescient Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, would not have been shocked at all. He explained in his book how the next revolution was being ushered in, not with guns, but with stifling nanny statism.)

I certainly appreciate the effort these old revolutionaries are making to stem the flood waters they first let loose. I doubt they’ll be successful, though. I see them as this revolution’s Robespierres. He, of course, ended up on the same guillotine to which he had so mercilessly consigned others.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was James Simpson with a superb article in Accuracy in Media, Obama Accused of Obstructing Battle against Boko Haram to Promote Axelrod’s Nigerian Muslim Client submitted by Nice Deb.

Apparently Israel’s election isn’t the only one this president is trying to subvert. Read about his deliberate schemes to do his best to oust another friend of the West in Nigeria and replace him with a Muslim with ties to Islamists, including Boko Haram.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the normal 2/3 penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

03/25/15
Cartoonist Gary Varvel: White House response to Netanyahu win

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Temper Tantrum Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Our own Tom White at VA Right was named one of Newsmax’s top 50 Conservative Blogs for 2015. Congrats, Tom. It’s nice that Newsmax is finally recognizing what we all already knew… Council Akbar!

This week, The Pirates’ Cove, ThePeople’s Cube and Maggie’s Notebook earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

03/20/15
LA Tyranny Marathon

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/20/15

The Watcher’s Council

Courtesy of 100% Fed Up!:

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness? – Adolf Hitler

I studied the Qu’ran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself. – Alexis de Tocqueville

All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them — not most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesn’t condemn their people… There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say ‘look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree we’ll f**king cut your head off, and nobody calls them on it — there are very few people that will call them on it. It’s like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you don’t blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because he’s a violent drunk. – Bill Maher

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s The Chicken Or The Egg?, looks at some elements of Islamic culture and asks: is it Islam that promotes the extreme violence and misogyny associated with Muslim societies? Or is that just part of a tribal society that persists in spite of Islam? Here’s a slice:

Unless you’re in a coma, you’ve probably noticed that a great many of the violent and barbaric acts in our modern world can be attributed to followers of Islam.

In the Islamic world today, aside from homicide bombings, jihad and terrorism directed against dar harb ( the part of the world not ruled by Islam), honor killings, female genital circumcision and other forms of violence against women are commonplace, and homosexuals are routinely brutalized and murdered. Non-Muslims are treated as barely human in much of the Islamic world, if they’re allowed to exist at all. Warfare carried out by Muslims is done with modern tools of the trade provided by the despised infidels, but is a relic of the good ol’ primitive and tribal days. Hostages, beheadings and the deliberate killing of civilians are all fair game, and the language of jihad is essentially the same heady stuff used back in the 7th century against the infidel. And through it all, there remains the miasma of seething violent rage at things like the Danish cartoons that simply doesn’t exist in other religious groups.

The question nobody wants to ask keeps floating to the surface: Is Islam to blame? Or, to put it another way, are the perpetrators simply bad Muslims or are they actually good ones who are simply more in tune with Mohammed’s message than the majority? Does Islam itself promote violence? Or are the acts simply a product of primitive tribal society that persists in spite of Islam?

Actually, this is a trick question. I personally believe that Islam and the primitive tribal culture combined back in the day to sustain each other and can’t be separated by their very nature…even though some valiant attempts have been made in the past, and are being made today.

Let’s look at honor killings, for example. Probably the oldest recorded one is in Genesis 34, when Jacob’s daughter Dinah was seduced (or raped, depending on how you interpret the text) by a man from the town of Shechem( modern day Nablus). Afterwards, Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi instigated the killing of the town’s men in revenge. But the Torah also tells us how Jacob denounced the killings and actually took the time to bad mouth his sons for the deed from his deathbed. Not only that, but you’ll notice a profound difference from the Islamic way of handling this – the onus of punishment fell on the male, not the female.

his isn’t the only honor killing mentioned in the Bible, but they were never condoned or part of Jewish law, just merely reported.

Islam, on the other hand, not only sanctions honor killings but is quite clear about its position in the matter. Killing or flogging an adulteress or a female that has relations with a non-Muslim male are part of sharia ( Qu’ran: 4:15, for example) – provided an Islamic court orders the punishment rather than an individual male family member going off on his own.

Even at that, Islamic courts today in the Muslim world frequently view male family members taking the law into their own hands fairly leniently. In Jordan, for example, many brutal honor killings have been punished by as little as a three month sentence under Jordanian Public Law 340. Moreover, in the context of Islamic society such murderers are often celebrated and held up as role models. Just as homicide bombers and terrorists who kill infidel civilians often are.

But what if a Muslim feels himself disrespected and lives in say, Britain or New Jersey? If no Islamic courts are available, is it permissible to take the law into one’s own hands? Probably. There’s not much in the way of Islamic rulings or commentary on that particular subject, but the near silence of most Muslim clergy in the West when it comes to denouncing honor killings speaks volumes…one of those little inconvenient truths Western apologists for multiculturalism and Islam constantly run up against when a number of Muslim clerics themselves insist that honor killing, female genital mutilation, and stoning of adulterers are mandated by Islam. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now , that’s one of the unspoken reasons behind the push among many Muslims in the West for sharia courts to handle those messy domestic problems that come up with uppity females from time to time.

Violent death penalties for women caught in adultery is fairly typical of a primitive society, but only Islam continues the practice into the present day. No Christian court has ever condemned a woman to death for adultery. And although the death penalty for adultery is found in the Book of Leviticus, there is no record of such a sentence ever carried out by any Jewish court. The same is true of homosexuality; while both Christianity and Judaism consider it ‘a sin and an abomination’ only Islam clearly mandates the death penalty for such activities and carries it out in our present day.

So why does Islamic society persist in these practices?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Daniel Greenfield’sObama’s Treason Is The New Patriotism, submitted by The Noisy Room. Daniel has some very hard hitting things to say about President Obama and a number of his questionable actions… and the tendency by the usual suspects to name anyone whom disagrees with the Regime a ‘traitor.’

Here are this week’s full results. GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but were not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

03/18/15
Benjamin Netanyahu

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Winners And Losers Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Some pictures really are worth a thousand words. This was a major defeat for Barack Obama and perhaps, as Winston Churchill once famously put it, ‘the end of the beginning.’

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, the Watcher’s Council is proud to welcome a new member, Don Surber. I’ve admired his work for quite some time and we’re all glad to have him aboard. Please check out his fine site, and feast your eyes and brain matter on his Council debut below.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions:

Non-Council Submissions:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

03/13/15
Hillary Clinton Doll

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/13/15

The Watcher’s Council


From the Genius of The Right Planet

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

One of the critical issues that we have to confront is illegal immigration, because this is a multi-headed Hydra that affects our economy, our health care, our education systems, our national security and also our local criminality. – Allen West

Illegal immigrants are to immigration what shoplifters are to shopping. – Jerry Agar

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. – President Theodore Roosevelt

A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation. – President Ronald Reagan

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This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’sA Strong Warning from Trevor Loudon on Illegal Amnesty, is an in-depth look at amnesty for illegal aliens, the radical roots of many of its activists and how it is being used as a tool to subvert the basic fabric of the country. Here’s a slice:

For the past three years, Trevor Loudon, author of the book “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within,” has been trying to warn Americans about the Marxist takeover of the Democratic Party. If you listen to the video above, you can hear Trevor is losing his voice from all the rallies he’s been attending lately. He is trying, with every fiber in his being, to warn Americans of the dire consequences of ignoring the ominous slide toward pure socialism occurring now in the American body politic.

A little while back I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down and talking to Trevor Loudon at length when he visited Indianapolis. Many of the points he is making in his presentation to the Leadership Institute were the same ones he made during his visit to Indy.

I want to focus on some key points regarding illegal immigration Trevor made in his presentation.

Before 1995, the AFL-CIO labor union was lead by alleged anti-communists like Lane Kirkland and George Meany. But, in 1995, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Gramcsiist communists kicked out Lane Kirkland, replacing him with DSA member John Sweeney. Sweeney is currently President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO. He was president of the organization for four terms, from 1995 to 2009. Richard L. Trumka is the current AFL-CIO President.

The radical leftists took over every major labor union in the country, and purged the Democratic Party of all the moderates, dixiecrats, centrists and bluedog democrats—with Sen. Joe Lieberman being the last to go.

Today, there is not a single policy embraced by the Democratic Party that can be distinguished from the platform of the Communist Party USA or the Democratic Socialists of America. This is full-on Marxism-Leninism, ladies and gentlemen. I have been warning about this for years—Trevor, even longer. Now we have a situation where some twenty-thousand Marxists own the unions, and the unions own the Democratic Party. It was Vladimir Lenin who once wrote that the labor unions are “the transmission belts from the Communist Party to the masses.”

Trevor mentioned some key individuals worth noting in his presentation that have been major driving forces behind the “immigration reform” movement (i.e. amnesty) in the United States.

The first organized effort to bring Latinos into the Democratic Party started with hardcore communist Bert Corona in the 1950’s. It was Corona who set up the Viva Kennedy clubs that, for the first time, brought large numbers of Mexican-Americans into a Presidential campaign.

The former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa—a hardcore Marxist, who cut sugar cane in Cuba for the Castro brothers—turned L.A. into a sanctuary city, and forbade the LAPD from enforcing immigration. The illegals flooded into California by the hundreds of thousands.

Communist Party supporter, and former head of the California senate, Gil Cedillo, pushed through the DREAM Act in California about three years ago, giving so-called “rights” to the children of illegal immigrants—euphemistically called “undocumented workers.”

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with The Enemy Of My Enemy submitted by The Noisy Room. This is Steyn’s take on Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress… and as usual with Steyn, he gets to the heart of the matter with his customary wit and brilliance. Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Rhymes With Right was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

03/11/15
Hillary Clinton

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Delete To The Beat’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Hillary Clinton is one of those people who should have resolved a long time ago never to lie. She’s absolutely awful at it. Aside from violating the Federal Records Act, there’s also the question of National Security. Unless Mrs. Clinton spent a great deal of money encrypting her private server to government standards, her illegal account was an open invitation to foreign governments or even private hackers to gain access to her account and spy on what she insists were ‘mostly private e-mails’ that had nothing to do with government affairs, something I think we all pretty much know is horse manure.

No matter how you slice it, this is a gross violation of federal law, something Hillary Clinton had full knowledge of when she did it.

Me, I still want to know what happened to that $6 billion in State Department funding that mysteriously ‘disappeared’ while she was Secretary of State and about those mysterious donations from foreign countries like Algeria to the Clinton Foundation.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, Simply Jews, Seraphic Secret, Maggie’s Notebook and The Gates of Vienna earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

03/6/15
Obama's Foreign Policy

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/06/15

The Watcher’s Council


Jon McNaughton on Obama’s Foreign Policy…

With thanks to Moonbattery, NoisyRoom would like to add to the Weasel festivities this week:

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. – George Orwell’s 1984

Whoever controls the media, controls the mind. – Jim Morrison of The Doors

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. – Malcolm X

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This week’s winning essay, The Noisy Room’sNet Neutrality: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand”, takes apart the Obama dominated FCC’s plans to ‘regulate’ the Internet and turn it into something unrecognizable. Here’s a slice:

We keep hearing, from the saviors in Washington, DC, how government regulation is the answer and how “evil monopolies” (created, incidentally, by other government regulations) are responsible for all our trials and tribulations and the “fundamental unfairness” of the Internet as she is currently wrote.

Obligatory movie quote:

“No. No government. I know those people. Absolutely not.” – Col. Ira Kane

Yeah, it’s a movie. It’s also absolutely right.

The founder of Broadcast.com, Mark Cuban, has recently been vociferous in his opposition to so-called “Net Neutrality” with his most recent public appearance on the subject in an interview where he breaks it down. His effort to “plain-language” the argument notwithstanding, and frankly, it’s a subject that should not be oversimplified, he laid out the unintended consequences dominoes and how this “everything is equal” push plays out in terms of common services.

Now, you might want to shrug Mark Cuban off as “some rich guy who owns a sports team” and clearly that’s being done a lot, but don’t forget how he got rich: he pioneered live broadcasting over the Internet. He’s not some political hack, evil cable company exec, or mushy thinking me-too “fairness uber alles” flag waver. He is, for once, someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about.

Net Neutrality, like so many political labels, is a “fair sounding” name that hides the actual motives and consequences of the real world implementations we will experience after the seemingly inevitable adoption of this latest government overreach.

It won’t be fair. It won’t be optimum. And the right answer will never even be mentioned, never mind entertained: deregulate the cable and broadband space to eliminate the protected monopolies.

The broadband space needs more competition, not less; needs less regulation, not more. Companies like Google laying fiber? Cox, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast suddenly no longer have a free pass.

Otherwise? The cynical and dystopian view?

One of the unavoidable dominoes will be broad censorship. Once the deprioritization of broadcast packets leads to the epic traffic jam that will reduce the Web’s US speeds to worse than those found in Europe, the government of the day will, once again, have to “save us” from this “unforseen” outcome and their clever plan will include limiting who can “legitimately” have bandwidth preferences, since clearly “legitimate” news outlets need to bypass the buffering jams that will afflict TV signalling and once dot-gov starts adjudicating who’s a “real” news or other “essential” service, licensing will naturally follow, and then “standards” of what is “acceptable” traffic.

At which point, whichever political party is in power at that time will have the distinct advantage of licensing whomever they deem to be more politically correct in their eyes. “Neutrality” on the ‘Net? Yeah, not so much.

We’re in the hands of fools and corrupt bureaucrats. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission held a faux meeting on open Internet rules and access to broadband Internet. Commissioner Ajit Pai made a statement before the FCC vote to take unprecedented control over the internet with a secret plan. Yes, secret. Secret as in no exposure to the public or Congress prior to its enactment. What follows is the transcript of his comments – in echoes of Obamacare, this had to pass before we could know what was in it. Except, they are still keeping it under wraps. It must be very, very bad indeed.

From Breitbart:

“The Wall Street Journal reports that it was developed through ‘an unusual secretive effort inside the White House.’ Indeed, White House officials, according to the Journal, functioned as a parallel version of the FCC. Their work led to the president’s announcement in November of his plan for internet regulation, a plan which the report says blindsided the FCC and swept aside months of work by Chairman Wheeler toward a compromise. Now, of course, a few insiders were clued in about what was transpiring. Here’s what a leader for the government-funded group Fight for the Future had to say, ‘We’ve been hearing for weeks from our allies in D.C that the only thing that could stop FCC chairman Tom Wheeler from moving ahead with his sham proposal to gut net neutrality was if we could get the president to step in. So we did everything in our power to make that happen. We took the gloves off and played hard, and now we get to celebrate a sweet victory. Congratulations. what the press has called the parallel FCC at the White House opened its door to a plethora of special interest activists. Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking the chairman’s driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials.

“But what about the rest of the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the process altogether. They were being played for fools. And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan, and ‘asked’ the FCC to implement it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May, and it differs so dramatically that even zealous net neutrality advocates frantically rushed in, in recent days, to make last-minute filings, registering their concerns that the FCC might be going too far. Yet, the American people, to this day, have not been allowed to see President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.

“Especially given the unique importance of the internet, Commissioner O’Rielly and I ask for the plan to be released to the public. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and House of Representatives Chairman did the same. According to a survey last week by a respected democratic polling firm, 79% of the American people favored making the document public. Still, the FCC has insisted on keeping it behind closed doors. We have to pass President Obama’s 317-page plan so the American people can find out what’s in it. This isn’t how the FCC should operate. We should be an independent agency making decisions in a transparent manner based on the law and the facts in the record.

“We shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for political decisions made by the White House. And we should have released this plan to the public, solicited their feedback, incorporated that input into the plan, and then proceeded to a vote. There was no need for us to resolve this matter today. There is no immediate crisis in the internet marketplace that demands immediate action. now. The backers of the president’s plan know this. But they also know that the details of this plan cannot stand up to the light of day. They know that the more the American people learn about it, the less they will like it. That is why this plan was developed behind closed doors at the White House. And that is why the plan has remained hidden from public view.

“These aren’t my only concerns. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal plans that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time. but rather than address them today, I will reserve them for my written statement. At the beginning of this proceeding, I quoted Google’s former CEO, who once said, the internet is the first thing that humanity has built, that humanity doesn’t understand. This proceeding makes it abundantly clear that the FCC still doesn’t get it. but the American people clearly do. The proposed government regulation of the internet has awakened a sleeping giant. I’m optimistic we’ll look back on today’s vote as a temporary deviation from the bipartisan consensus that’s served us so well. I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future commission, But I do believe its days are numbered. For all of those reasons, I dissent.”

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Jim DeMint in the Daily Signal with If Not Now … When? Will the GOP Majority Ever Stand for Anything? submitted by Ask Marion. As the man who, along with Sarah Palin, was pretty much responsible for the victory in the 2010 midterms that resurrected the GOP from the grave, De Mint is definitely in a position to look at the Republicans in Congress today and wonder if they stand for anything.

After lying to their supporters again in 2014 about ow they would dismantle President Obama’s radical agenda and being rewarded with majorities in both houses of Congress, they’ve reneged on everything they said they would do at election time. Can they ever be trusted again? Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

03/4/15
Obama and Iran

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Let’s Make A Deal Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

WoW community member, Council Alumnus, author and speaker Trevor Loudon will be appearing on Glenn Beck’s TV show on March 9th, 5 PM EST. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to see Trevor in person before, you won’t want to miss this.

This week, Blazing Cat Fur, Gates Of Vienna and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/27/15
The Watcher's Council

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 02/27/15

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.crystalinks.com/druids_stonehenge.jpg

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung. – Sir Walter Scott

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory. – General George S. Patton

I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside. – Sir Winston Churchill

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_nEAkWOufFU/T366WMxCdrI/AAAAAAAABOg/easpV-8FMnM/s400/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sIs President Obama A Christian? Does He Love America? was my reaction to the question raised by former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the media meltdown that followed. Here’s a slice:

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani created a press-fueled tempest in a teapot when he raised those issues at a private dinner. As you know, only Democrats and Leftists are entitled to  private conversations and secrecy even the Mafia would envy. And of course, to the freedom to express their opinions  no matter how bat sh*t crazy they are. Rudy Giuliani obviously doesn’t qualify for that kind of protection.

Of course the press leaped on this. The current administration and its minions are free to refer to ‘right wing Tea Partiers’ as  terrorists and to deride a serving US General commanding a combat operation as ‘General Betray Us’ in the New York Times,  but again, the rule for Democrats and the Left is that you may never question  their patriotism under any circumstances, no matter what they say or do.

Having pretty much struck out trying to smear GOP front runner Governor Scott Walker for not undergoing four years or more of Leftist indoctrination at someplace like Harvard, Yale, Columbia or Princeton, the Obama media decided to grab at another straw and make a point of asking Governor Walker if he thought this president was a Christian.

His quite sensible reply was that he didn’t know, and as Byron York pointed out, a fair amount of Americans don’t know either. I suppose it all depends on whether you consider Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church with its radical politics and its  anti-Semitic and racialist overtones ‘Christian.’  Or whether you’re confused about a president who defends Islam and Islamists at every turn while dissing Christianity and standing by and doing nothing while Christians are being  ethnically cleansed from the Middle East by those peaceful Islamists.

But at any rate, the only way to know for sure would be to look inside this president’s head and heart, and Walker was astute in simply saying he wasn’t going to attempt that.

Now, does this president love America? Again, like the question about Christianity, it all depends on what your definition of loving America is.

In his memoir about his time as Secretary of Defense in the Bush and Obama Administrations, Robert Gates chronicled his struggle to contain his rage as former Democrat Senators and 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden chuckled to Gates about how their efforts during the second Bush administration to sabotage America’s war effort in Iraq and the Surge in particular while our troops were under fire were ‘hah hah,just politics, ho ho.’ As Gates related, these efforts along with their calculated attempts to insult and emasculate its commander General Petraeus literally cost American lives.

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Now again, some people are going to say ‘what difference does it make?’ Others would be outraged at this and a lot of other things that have happened in this administration.

So you see, it all depends on your point of view.

But walk with me a minute.

Let’s say,just for giggles, we elected a president who actually didn’t love the country, but whose agenda could more accurately be described in one word – payback.

How would such a president behave?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was the one and only Mark Steyn with Oh Beautiful For Specious Guys submitted by The Noisy Room.

Steyn exercises his usual mastery at getting to the heart of the matter, in this case the Obama Administration’s craven response to violent, radical Islamism uhhh, ‘violent extremism’ that dares not speak its name. A must read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only the Right Planet was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?